President Obama's speech tonight will be the capstone of the Democratic convention, and I suspect tomorrow morning, there will be plenty of chatter about how it went. But there will be another major news story coming out roughly nine hours after the president leaves the stage.
At 8:30 a.m. (ET), the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its new jobs report -- one of only three such reports between now and Election Day -- and depending on what it says, the job creation and unemployment figures are likely to get a lot of political attention.
In fact, the Romney campaign is practically salivating at the possibilities.
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said the campaign will use the jobs numbers to remind voters of Obama's economic record, including the August 2011 jobs report, which counted zero new jobs.
"Barack Obama is the first president in modern history to preside over a net job loss, and we intend to highlight the failure of his economic policies during and after the convention," Williams said.
Keep a few things in mind here. First, the initial estimate for the August 2011 jobs report was a net gain of zero, but the revised and more accurate total turned out to be a net gain of 85,000. Holding onto this as a credible argument, more than a year later, is both silly and wrong.
Second, the "net job loss" talking point is patently ridiculous.
And third, it's a little unseemly to see a major-party presidential campaign hoping desperately against the economy.
Regardless, this is worth keeping an eye on because it's likely to be a major topic of conversation tomorrow. If the job news is encouraging, and there's reason for at least some optimism, Obama and his Democratic supporters have a positive story to tell on the heels of a successful convention. If the job news is discouraging, Romney and the GOP will have a new reason to go on the offensive while trying to step on a possible post-convention bounce.